Blue Raiders make quick work of Miners on tennis court

Middle Tennessee clinches third straight win

March 27, 2010 · Athletic Communications

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Middle Tennessee earned the doubles point for the 10th time this season and clinched three singles wins before the others were called in a 4-0 win against UTEP in non-conference women's tennis action Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. The victory is the third consecutive for the Blue Raiders, who posted their first neutral-site triumph of the campaign, and came later in the day than the scheduled 10 a.m. start due to a shuffle of matches on the day.

"Overall, everyone played great," head coach Alison Ojeda said. "We knew UTEP was going to be a good team and opponent. We experimented with a new doubles lineup and everyone responded well, especially Alex (Dachos) who was able to get a win under her belt.

"In singles, Natalie (Araya) played perhaps her best this season. She took control in the first set and forced her opponent to retire in the second. Overall, everyone is playing really well right now which is very encouraging. We are going to return home, enjoy a day off and prepare for next weekend."

The Middle Tennessee (8-5) doubles lineup was rearranged, but the Blue Raiders did not miss a beat in garnering the point for the 10th time in 13 matches this spring. Newcomers Carla Nava and Yuiri Nomoto clinched an 8-3 win at No. 1 against Dariya Abdrakhmanova, while Taylor Coffey and Anna Djananova swept an 8-0 decision over the Miners' Marina DeLuca and Austin Lavallii during the No. 3 match.

The doubles sweep was concluded with a hard-fought, 9-8 (5) triumph at the No. 2 slot where Natalie Araya and Alex Dachos knocked off Carolina DeLuca and Ximena Fuentes.

With the 1-0 lead, MT needed just three singles wins to clinch the match victory. Araya faced Carolina DeLuca at the No. 2 position and came away with a victory after winning the first set 7-5 and forcing DeLuca into retiring during the second set.

Coffey continued her strong singles play, tallying a 6-1, 6-2 triumph against Fuentes during the No. 5 match, while Marietta Bigus also won in straight sets at the No. 6 position with a 6-0, 6-1 decision over Veronika Makashov.

The three victories placed UTEP (9-8) in a hole from which it could not recover, despite the Miners leading in two of the other three matches when they were called.

The Blue Raiders will return to action next weekend with a pair of matches in Memphis, starting at 2 p.m. Friday in another neutral-site contest against ULM. Middle Tennessee will then face Memphis at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Middle Tennessee 4, UTEP 0

No. 1 Carla Nava (MT) vs. Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) DNF
No. 2 Natalie Araya (MT) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) 7-5, ret.
No. 3 Anna Djananova (MT) vs. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) DNF
No. 4 Yuiri Nomoto (MT) vs. Alexandra Glebova (UTEP) DNF
No. 5 Taylor Coffey (MT) def. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 Marietta Bigus (MT) def. Veronika Makashov (UTEP) 6-0, 6-1

No. 1 Nava/Nomoto (MT) def. Abdrakhmanova/Glebova (UTEP) 8-3
No. 2 Alex Dachos/Araya (MT) def. C. DeLuca/Fuentes (UTEP) 9-8 (5)
No. 3 Coffey/Djananova (MT) def. Austin Lavallii/M. DeLuca (UTEP) 8-0

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